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Cornet Stuns Serena At Wimbledon

Alizé Cornet pulled off the upset of the tournament on Saturday, rallying from a first set blowout to defeat Serena Williams - the No.1 player in the world - in the third round.

Published June 28, 2014 12:15

Cornet Stuns Serena At Wimbledon
Alizé Cornet

LONDON, England - Alizé Cornet pulled off the upset of the tournament on Saturday, rallying from a first set blowout to send five-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams out in the third round.

The Plot
Going into the match the odds seemed stacked against Cornet - just one appearance in the second week of a major in her career, it was halfway across the world at the Australian Open, no big wins at Grand Slams. But there was a glimmer of hope - she had beaten Williams at Dubai earlier this year.

The Turning Point
That glimmer was dim early on, as Williams stormed through the first set in just 29 minutes, winning more than twice as many points as a somewhat shell-shocked Cornet, as well: 31 points to just 15.

But from the beginning of the second set something changed. Cornet dramatically cut down on her unforced errors and stepped up the aggression on her serve and groundstrokes, and Williams started throwing in some uncharacteristic errors of her own. Cornet was clearly sinking her teeth into the match and before long she had a 5-0 second set lead - she would eventually close the set out, 6-3.

The two traded holds early on in the third but Cornet struck again, building a 5-2 lead - Williams cut that lead down to 5-4 but the No.25-seeded Frenchwoman stepped up to the line, served up some big ones and eventually took down the No.1-seeded, 17-time Grand Slam champion, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

By The Numbers
After the first set, in which Williams was just too good, Cornet's numbers tidied up in a big way. Across the second and third sets she had 25 winners to just 12 unforced errors - on the other side of the net, Williams was a negative 19 winners and 21 unforced errors. One big thing that was missing from the World No.1's game was her serve - her typically huge serve produced just three aces in the match.

"She kept her unforced errors really low. I don't know. I think I made a few errors too many," Williams said after the match. "You know, she was going for her shots. She just played really well today.

"I thought I was playing well. I worked really hard coming into this event. It's okay, though. Sometimes it happens. You work hard, but maybe it's not for today, maybe it's for tomorrow.

"But, yeah, so I've just got to keep going."

Cornet followed Williams into the press room a little bit later.

"I'm just calming down now because I was very excited for an hour. I couldn't believe it. I still cannot believe it, actually," Cornet said. "If somebody would have told me a couple years ago that I would be in the second week here at Wimbledon, and beating Serena, I wouldn't have believed it.

"It feels great. Of course, what a victory. It's the best way to get to the second week."

The Frenchwoman was then asked why she thought she won the match.

"After the first set I think she lost her concentration a little bit," she said. "I used that to come back into the match, and finally I played way better from the beginning of the second set.

"I think then the battle was on."

What's Next
Awaiting Cornet in the fourth round is No.13 seed Eugenie Bouchard, who fired 30 winners en route to a 6-3, 6-4 win over No.20 seed Andrea Petkovic, her first win in four tries against the German.

Cornet beat Bouchard in the pair's only previous meeting.

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